Southport Football Club was founded on November 29th 1872. The Mayor of Southport, Samuel Swire, was the first President. He may also have been the same Samuel Swire who was the first Secretary of Lancashire CCC*.
In line with the origins of the modern game it was originally composed of Old Public School Boys and was formed with the intention of “improving the physical development of our young townsmen”. Dr George Coombe (later Sir George Pilkington – see 1872/1918 section) of Southport Infirmary was the driving force behind the formation of the club.
The first ground is recorded as being a large field next to the Alexandra Cricket Club in Manchester Road, which from an OS map at the time appears behind Hartwood Road area with access off Roe Lane. It is now covered by housing on Melling Road, Irton Road and Grange Avenue.
The club was one of several playing ‘the handling code’ in the town and other teams under the titles Southport Olympic, Southport Wasps, Southport Hornets and The Grasshoppers are recorded.
The fixture list included Birkenhead Park away, a drawn game, no score, teams twenty a side! Southport was captained by R W Smith. The clubs played each other several times in the following seasons, and continue to do so today at Junior level.
*In 2011 there was a link between Lancashire CCC and Southport RFC as Lancashire won the County Championship outright for the first time in 77 years, with the kit suppliers and one of the sponsors being Kukri, the same as Southport! Kukri's Phil and Woody Morris are residents of Birkdale, and proud members, parents, coaches and supporters of the rugby club. To cap it all Lancashire's victorious season included a game played at Southport & Birkdale, the sports club at Trafalgar Road on the other side of the tracks also with close links to the rugby club, for the first time in years!